Engineering

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Description

Extravia

Classification: Sirian Prototype Gunship 5B (Modified)
Length: 154 yards from Forward to Stern. 66 yards From Port to Starboard. Seven Decks, roughly 44 yards, with a total crew compliment of 102.
Minimum Crew (Excluding Security and Medical Personnel with all weapon alcoves manned) 74.
Armament: 32 Mark 3 Sirian Interactive Energy Cannon Alcoves. 54 Mark 4 Sirian Tactical Automated Energy Cannons. Two Primary Triple Barrel Mark 5 Energy Cannons. Primary and Secondary Shielding, Type 4 and 2.5 respectively.
Specifications: Primary Type 3 Deuterium Power Generator. Secondary Type 1 Deuterium Power Generator. Quad Signal Array for multiple tractors, beaming, or other Sweeping Array Functions. Limited Long Range Sensor Capabilities. Mark 5 Prototype Targeting Sensors. Primary Type 5 Ion Solar Drive with Two Secondary Mark 3 Ion Solar Drives running in parallel. Type 2 Inter-dimensional Wake Drive.

While lacking in size and beauty, the Extravia makes up for it in firepower. Her outer hull is composed of a Silver, Mithiril, and Titanium compound designed to be both light, yet extremely durable. The ship towers over fourteen stories tall, and could cover a small village with its shadow. Her outer hull is sleek and slender, devoid of rough edges or sudden stops. Everything is smooth and rounded, giving her an attractive ovular look from forward to stern. Save for the two primary cannons, which are massive mounted structures over ten feet tall and wide with triple barrels. They can pivot in nearly any direction, giving them full range of motion to cover every angle of the ship except the stern.

The Extravia is divided into roughly five sections: Bridge, Engineering, Command, Operations, Primary Facilities (Medical, Security, Weapons Storage), and Crew Quarters. Each one is a section of the ship’s design itself. The Bridge sits just forward of the Command Section, ovular shaped except for the back end where it connects with the deck allowing entrance. Primary Facilities is another ovular section of the ship, placed on top of the larger Operations section, with Crew Quarters the smaller rounded section at the bottom of the ship. Engineering builds right into Operations section, centered behind the ship’s massive primary Ion Solar Drive. Each of the larger sections (Primary, Operations, Crew Quarters) also has a thruster nacelle attached to the ship. There are three each on the port and starboard sides. They are positioned vertically with each other, the top and bottom two angling 90 degrees upward, with the middle sticking straight out at an equal distance. The two shuttle docks (On each side of the ship, for a total of four) are near the supports to these nacelles, giving them a little added protection as the ships only means of escape when threatened with being destroyed.

The Interior of the ship has been repainted from its Gold and Red primary colors (which were the same as the exterior of the ship) to be more of a light gold with blue highlights. The interior paneling has also been changed allowing the power conduits to glow through the walls for an added lighting effect. Making quite beautiful patterns across the corridors. Each deck is accessed by shafts, with levitating platforms that take you through access shafts throughout the ship. They are all interconnected, moving you up and down at your desire and sometimes sideways through the heavily accessed areas. There are also some smaller crawl space access shafts, which serve as maintenance corridors on the ship.

Primary Facilities:

(Deck 7) This area of the ship is small, but serves a vital purpose in the ships primary functions. Here is where the communications array, medical quarters, and security station are. This includes the holding cells as well as the primary weapons locker for the ship. Droid Command is also on this deck, though it is accessible only by crawlspace

Command:

(Deck 6)The Command deck is smaller, mostly access shafts that lead to various places on the ship. There are 10 weapon alcoves (5 each on the Port and Starboard sides) near the forward edge of the ship right outside the Bridge doors. This is also one of the major damage control areas of the ship. Most of the Primary Power Conduits run through here routing command to the bridge. A little known fact is secondary helm control is at the back of this section, directly above engineering.

Operations:

(Decks 5 and 4) Another primary area for critical ship mechanics. Quite a few relay and secondary power conduits line the walls, as well as the majority of Weapon Alcoves. Twenty-two in total; eleven per side of the ship. These are the last of the ones that can be manually controlled, though there are aft weapons as well as more cannons on the underside of the ship to cover every angle of the Extravia: simply not as powerful as their sister-cannons. Engineering is at the aft of both decks, a room that is dual leveled around the Inter-dimensional drive chamber. The Signal Array room, responsible for transportation and tractor technology is at the forward section of the ship just past the last alcoves.

Crew Quarters:

(Decks 3 and 2) Going into the lower levels of the ship is where one would find the crew area for the Extravia. Sirians enjoyed comfort, so their quarters come with all the bells and whistles. There are several full blown holographic rooms for training or otherwise, two large recreation rooms with Date Terminals and holographic displays, group use food replicators. The rooms on Deck 3 are more for public crewing, while the twenty or so on deck two are single, private rooms including the overly large Captain’s Quarters.

The Belly:
Classification: Sirian Prototype Gunship 5B (Modified)
Length: 154 yards from Forward to Stern. 66 yards From Port to Starboard. Seven Decks, roughly 44 yards, with a total crew compliment of 102.
Minimum Crew (Excluding Security and Medical Personnel with all weapon alcoves manned) 74.
Armament: 32 Mark 3 Sirian Interactive Energy Cannon Alcoves. 54 Mark 4 Sirian Tactical Automated Energy Cannons. Two Primary Triple Barrel Mark 5 Energy Cannons. Primary and Secondary Shielding, Type 4 and 2.5 respectively.
Specifications: Primary Type 3 Deuterium Power Generator. Secondary Type 1 Deuterium Power Generator. Quad Signal Array for multiple tractors, beaming, or other Sweeping Array Functions. Limited Long Range Sensor Capabilities. Mark 5 Prototype Targeting Sensors. Primary Type 5 Ion Solar Drive with Two Secondary Mark 3 Ion Solar Drives running in parallel. Type 2 Inter-dimensional Wake Drive.

While lacking in size and beauty, the Extravia makes up for it in firepower. Her outer hull is composed of a Silver, Mithiril, and Titanium compound designed to be both light, yet extremely durable. The ship towers over fourteen stories tall, and could cover a small village with its shadow. Her outer hull is sleek and slender, devoid of rough edges or sudden stops. Everything is smooth and rounded, giving her an attractive ovular look from forward to stern. Save for the two primary cannons, which are massive mounted structures over ten feet tall and wide with triple barrels. They can pivot in nearly any direction, giving them full range of motion to cover every angle of the ship except the stern.

The Extravia is divided into roughly five sections: Bridge, Engineering, Command, Operations, Primary Facilities (Medical, Security, Weapons Storage), and Crew Quarters. Each one is a section of the ship’s design itself. The Bridge sits just forward of the Command Section, ovular shaped except for the back end where it connects with the deck allowing entrance. Primary Facilities is another ovular section of the ship, placed on top of the larger Operations section, with Crew Quarters the smaller rounded section at the bottom of the ship. Engineering builds right into Operations section, centered behind the ship’s massive primary Ion Solar Drive. Each of the larger sections (Primary, Operations, Crew Quarters) also has a thruster nacelle attached to the ship. There are three each on the port and starboard sides. They are positioned vertically with each other, the top and bottom two angling 90 degrees upward, with the middle sticking straight out at an equal distance. The two shuttle docks (On each side of the ship, for a total of four) are near the supports to these nacelles, giving them a little added protection as the ships only means of escape when threatened with being destroyed.

The Interior of the ship has been repainted from its Gold and Red primary colors (which were the same as the exterior of the ship) to be more of a light gold with blue highlights. The interior paneling has also been changed allowing the power conduits to glow through the walls for an added lighting effect. Making quite beautiful patterns across the corridors. Each deck is accessed by shafts, with levitating platforms that take you through access shafts throughout the ship. They are all interconnected, moving you up and down at your desire and sometimes sideways through the heavily accessed areas. There are also some smaller crawl space access shafts, which serve as maintenance corridors on the ship.

Primary Facilities:

(Deck 7) This area of the ship is small, but serves a vital purpose in the ships primary functions. Here is where the communications array, medical quarters, and security station are. This includes the holding cells as well as the primary weapons locker for the ship. Droid Command is also on this deck, though it is accessible only by crawlspace

Command:

(Deck 6)The Command deck is smaller, mostly access shafts that lead to various places on the ship. There are 10 weapon alcoves (5 each on the Port and Starboard sides) near the forward edge of the ship right outside the Bridge doors. This is also one of the major damage control areas of the ship. Most of the Primary Power Conduits run through here routing command to the bridge. A little known fact is secondary helm control is at the back of this section, directly above engineering.

Operations:

(Decks 5 and 4) Another primary area for critical ship mechanics. Quite a few relay and secondary power conduits line the walls, as well as the majority of Weapon Alcoves. Twenty-two in total; eleven per side of the ship. These are the last of the ones that can be manually controlled, though there are aft weapons as well as more cannons on the underside of the ship to cover every angle of the Extravia: simply not as powerful as their sister-cannons. Engineering is at the aft of both decks, a room that is dual leveled around the Inter-dimensional drive chamber. The Signal Array room, responsible for transportation and tractor technology is at the forward section of the ship just past the last alcoves.

Crew Quarters:

(Decks 3 and 2) Going into the lower levels of the ship is where one would find the crew area for the Extravia. Sirians enjoyed comfort, so their quarters come with all the bells and whistles. There are several full blown holographic rooms for training or otherwise, two large recreation rooms with Date Terminals and holographic displays, group use food replicators. The rooms on Deck 3 are more for public crewing, while the twenty or so on deck two are single, private rooms including the overly large Captain’s Quarters.

The Belly:

(Deck 1) Nicknamed for its use, this is where all the ships trash, waste, and otherwise is stored. There are a few rooms down here as well, which are primarily for emergency systems like the secondary shield generator, backup life support, emergency power, and a few other key systems. Likewise, since this area is heavily shielded it is one of the safest places to be for a crash, and even has seats to strap into down in one of the parts storage rooms.

Intranet

Being the ship's Intranet - a collection of what parts of the Internet of the planet were flagged for uploading when they last left - including research journals, design updates, and generally a cached copy of the internet from Sirian Planet Plus a collection of on-ship-generated material: Forums, videos, photographs and entertainment. The on-ship collection of the internet is updated anytime the ship comes in to port, but otherwise due to distances between the ship's net and the planet's net is known to be out of date until check stations or comm probes connect it back with the rest of the net at port.
(Deck 1) Nicknamed for its use, this is where all the ships trash, waste, and otherwise is stored. There are a few rooms down here as well, which are primarily for emergency systems like the secondary shield generator, backup life support, emergency power, and a few other key systems. Likewise, since this area is heavily shielded it is one of the safest places to be for a crash, and even has seats to strap into down in one of the parts storage rooms.

Intranet

Being the ship's Intranet - a collection of what parts of the internet of the planet were flagged for uploading when they last left - including research journals, design updates, and generally a cached copy of the internet from Sirian Planet. Plus a collection of on-ship-generated material: Forums, videos, photographs and entertainment. The on-ship collection of the internet is updated anytime the ship comes in to port, but otherwise due to distances between the ship's net and the planet's net is known to be out of date until check stations or comm probes connect it back with the rest of the net at port.

Comments

Users in this room

As he heard the footsteps

As he heard the footsteps approaching him Adrian got ready to move out of the way, looking up in the direction of the incoming footsteps and being surprised to see the datapad shoved in his face. His brow furrowed further and he simply looked at the woman before reading the message she'd typed out.

He didn't exactly have an answer. At least, not a good one. But he had to give some answer, Plus, there was a chance giving an answer could stop things getting worse. Which is what the alternative would likely lead to. Speaking in a quiet voice he gave a tiny shrug. "Just.. hanging out." He explained, taking a step to one side. "Sorry if I'm in the way."

No worries. Thankfully there's no real rush so we can take the time we need.

 

Alma was wearing her usual

Alma was wearing her usual outfit of a white button up and a pair of brown trousers, looking all very neat and tucked in. The only "messy" thing about her was maybe the string she kept laced about her neck. It was an outfit she wore regularly- easy to find in stock and rarely caught on machinery. Clearly, Alma was not one to worry about appearances.

However, Adrian's appearance did cause her to become curious. She had no idea who the fellow was... and he clearly did not look like on of the other engineers around the area. He was an oddity; and oddity worth at least some attention.

Alma quickly got to work tapping away on her datapad as she made her approach. Adrian would most likely hear her coming just before having a datapad shoved in his face, reading:

["Who are you and what are you doing here?"]

Looks like we're both a bit drifty.

 

It was easier to concentrate

It was easier to concentrate down in engineering. Sure, it had it's own set of loud noises, and Adrian still found himself distracted by things, but that didn't really matter to him as much. It was almost soothing in a weird way. Regardless, he tried to stay out of sight for the most part. Since he didn't know how much he was allowed to be down here that seemed a wise idea. Though, it was less hiding and more staying out of the way. Just about anyone could see him pretty easily. But staying alert and getting out of the way of people who were actually meant to be down here made it a lot less likely that he'd get noticed, and subsequently get into trouble for being here. Or at least, he hoped as much. There were less people down here either way, so any amount of time he could spend down here was better than nothing.

His clothing was pretty average, looking a bit faded but only so much that it stood out enough to notice. Other than that they were still in good condition though. After all, he couldn't exactly go around wearing clothes that were falling apart.

While still being sure to pay attention to his surroundings Adrian still seemed to be giving a good amount of attention to his datapad. His brows furrowed every now and again as he did so, moving his thumb over to the delete button before starting over with whatever it was he was trying to draw.

More that my brain was just taking a while for the gears to start turning. Sorry.

 

It had been quite some time

It had been quite some time since Alma had been in this neck of the woods. Normally she either stuck to her quarters back on Station Prime, or her own engineering projects. However, she did like see the other goings on when it came to her profession- even if that did mean going out of your way to observe.

However, she found herself slightly disappointed by the sight of other Engineers on deck playing with a literal one. The entire trip would have been a waste of time were it not for perhaps the light chatter of the room with short, brief mentionings of things going on. That, and the fact it was Alma's day off anyways. She wasn't missing work, and at least in her travel she had gotten to practice her Tetris skills.

Datapad in hand, Alma looked about, trying to find anything or anyone of interest. At least then she wouldn't be stuck twiddling her thumbs.

I'm gonna assume we were both waiting on the other person to post first, ya?

 

Again finding the work to be

Again finding the work to be a bit roughshod, Safa begins to tighten the cinching screw, going until resistance bordered on stripping it. Clenching at the fitting, she gives it a good shaking to ensure it is in place. Finding it there, and the steam hissing largely stopped, she begins to check up and down the vent to make sure there was not anything she was leaving behind.

Satisfied, Safa descends the stepladder and pushes the vent access back into place, pulling the screws from the pouch where she stored them. Lining them up with the holes, she closes the cover, returns to the ground, folds the stepladder, and carries it bqck to storage. From there, she goes to the engineering work station to begon logging the repair with a note to follow up after two weeks.

Emergency work order complete, she checks the cooling systems to make sure levels were returning to normal. Satisfied there, she logs out and starts her meandering patrol once more, keeping watch for little things here and there that might need her attention.

 

Perhaps it was not her best

Perhaps it was not her best work overall, but Safa manages to at least get enough tape around it to bring it back down to about where the hissing leak was before. With part in hand, she inspects the gasket, finding that it's been worn down in a few spots. She would have to make a note about this particular section of pipe to have it looked at for replacement, if this was the case, as constant pressure and steam at points had the potential to eat away at seals like this if not often checked.

And, of course, with tape being the only thing keeping the cooling system from going into some sort of shutdown or meltdown, she would have to move down the ladder, along the corridor, and back into storage with haste. Quietly thankful for the empty halls, it's just a matter of finding the part she needed. Ah yes, labels, they were very helpful, and after a few moments of searching, Safa had the part she was looking for. The old one gets discarded into the bin marked for transport to the replicators.

Returning to the ladder, up it, and back to the pipe, the ConFab tries to use up as little time as possible as she slips the rubberized band overside the pipe, looping it through the slotted end and cinching it tight. She opts to leave the tape as-is to add an extra layer of seal against the elements within.

 

It would take no small feat

It would take no small feat of ingenuity to get this to work without potentially steaming the flesh of her hand. Figuring that a good roll of tape, readily handy, would serve as a decent substitute for the sealed fitting, she begins by taking the roll from her back pouch, loosening the end of a strip from its moorings and placing it along the circumference of the pipe, adhering to the pipe itself with some overlap on the fitting.

The overlap would be left loose, to allow Safa to loosen the binding, slide it up the pipe, finish sealing the pipe with tape, and then undo the fitting to go and find a replacement at the storage room with the parts.

And so, she begins working slowly around the pipe, glad that there was just enough maneuver space up here to do this sort of work. Another one of those engineering redundancies - no sense in having to take out the whole section of protective paneling, instead just build trapdoors every few feet and leave enough room for near crawlspace. Not that it doesn't have its share of problems, but the benefits, for the most part, outweighed the risk.

Once Safa gets the tape around the pipe, she takes her screwdriver and loosens the tightening screw, until the fitting opens enough to begin slipping off the pipe with a little wiggling. Of course, more steam issues forth now that the leaky gasket was opened to the full contact line of the two pipes. It made seeing things a little difficult, and the space was starting to become rather humid and hot. The ConFab would have to work quickly.

 

It takes but a moment to

It takes but a moment to track the sound down... or rather up, to one of the overhead vents. Safa considers the sound at length through the vent, before walking around the corner to secure a stepladder to complete the height enough to open the vent and take a peek inside. Scaling it, she removes a screwdriver from her belt, and begins to take the first two screws out of the vent so it will pop open and swing downward on its hinges. The loose screws are secured in one of the empty pouches on her belt intended for such things.

Taking another step to look inside, the Confab produces a small flashlight from its clip at her hip, shining it to take a look at what's going on up there. Being a series of wires for network and electrical, as well as the tubes bringing cool air/water toward things like server rooms, and others taking hot air/water back toward the generators, it would take a minute to at least find out which tube may have had a leak. Steam had a way of being a first culprit, and it manifest itself rather quickly in its reflection in the light.

Checking the label on the pipe (knowing the engineers were rather redundant when it came to making sure they knew what went where), Safa takes note that it was one of the pipes leading away from the engine block, part of the dissipation network that helped drive the generators, though most of the engine heat was otherwise vented into space.

All that was left to do was to figure out how bad the damage was. Reaching in, she puts her thumb up against the steam spout, about a few millimeters away so the jetty was more apparent against her digit. Determining it to be more than just a hole in the pipe, she discovers that it's actually existing at one of the fittings. Well, this was bound to be a little tricky and time-consuming...

 

Engineering. Though she was

Engineering. Though she was actually a technician class ConFab, a lot of Safa's ability ranges pretty much fit in the Engineering department of Extravia's crew. Though her work was often done in seclusion, away from most of the activity and people that worked on board, many would find that little things that needed done by the time their shift was up, would find them done when coming back, without so much as any documentation to back it up. Things were kept ship-shape, and nobody really complained.

Again, as quiet as the ship was in docking with the Station, she found herself, much like a few other crewmates, sticking to this as home. Though, she didn't quite have any grudge whatsoever against the Treatise Body as some might. Fortune smiling upon her today, though, as when she strolls along the corridors in a slow walk, slacks and fitted shirt cinched with a tool belt draping her structure, she becomes aware of a strange hissing noise coming from somewhere.

Safa pauses in her pacing, scanning this way and that, up into corners and through what vents and other small spaces were nearby, attempting to see if there was any steam or other visible gaseous form presenting itself for analysis and repair.

 

Jake nodded, "They're smart.

Jake nodded, "They're smart. And tough. They'll hold out -"

He popped his shoulder, settling his thoughts at least for the moment. The impact would come later when he had a chance to think on it. "Let's do it - get this done and settled. You know what my shift looks like, so soon as you're ready for a sprint..." He grinned, "I'll bring the coffee."

 

Darcy's grin gained a little

Darcy's grin gained a little strength. For once, she was glad for the boy's cockiness. "Yeah...which is why I say we go for 'good enough' on the sim for now. Fast and cheap over good right now. We can always upgrade the environment later."

She glances at the shoulder he chuffed, breathing in sharply. "...Thanks, Jake." It sounds like it took a lot to choke the words out, but she managed. "From what Conductor - er, the head of our little band of digi-friends - said, the clans are probably best poised to dodge the worst of things for a while."

"We just have to hope they can hold out till..." She trails off, starting to rub her arm again, before chiding herself and gripping the same spot tightly instead. "Anyway, we've got a good spec, I'll see if I can rustle up an artist for the initial pass, and we'll get rolling, yeah?"

 

He quirked an eyebrow at the

He quirked an eyebrow at the response Darcy gave. 'Fine, my ass' came to mind. Angry and going to do something about it, was better than other possibilities - helpless depression or giving up - so he wasn't going to argue. He nodded to her, "Well - you've seen what I can do. I'm not so good hand-to-hand, but a long shot? Hell yes."

He grinned wickedly, "And that's before we get to the things I can think up -" He tapped the side of his head. "Though that does move the timeline up for our AI simulation I think. I want my plate clear when we make planet-fall for whatever we're going to be sending in there."

He chuffed her on the shoulder lightly, "Hey. We're ass kickers right? Let's just get ready to do what we gotta do. You need a backup if you head home, let me know. I've got a few places to check in the desert too."

 

Darcy shrugs off the question

Darcy shrugs off the question. "I'm fine. She's fine. She's great, actually - you should see the rest of that vid." She cracks half a smile at that, emboldened by the thought of Aati's sudden certainty. "Girl has the midday sun under her ass about this. And she's right, we've got the right people for it, and we don't have much other choice."

She shrugs again, seeming in slightly better spirits. "We'll get there. Until then, I'm just trying not to think about it. We've got work enough to do here to get ready. The rest...until there's something I can do about it, I'm not going to let it in, you know?"

 

"Huh -" Jake had seen the

"Huh -" Jake had seen the powers in action so far, mostly teleportation though he knew there was more to it than that. All in all, an interesting set of skills but it sounded like there were some drawbacks. He winced, recalling Ykskander and his brief conversation with her about her own 'odd skills'. "I guess we'll have to warn everyone who has anything like that then -"

He nodded to her, "Sorry - I tried to fix the thing - it looked like a spectacular advance in tech." He wrinkled his nose, there was genuine loss there but that just meant he'd be keeping an eye out for the same little boxes in the future. They might come in handy. "But yeah, the lights are still on there, I'm not sure who exactly or how friendly they'll be. So be cautious."

"... I've pitched my information on the mutiny up to Corvan. I assume he'll get your report eventually too - so he can put it all together form there." Jake scrubbed a hand back through his hair, seriously considering suggesting they just... not go back. But then again, his list of people at home to care about was... very short. Unlike Darcy.

He looked to her, "...you ok? Aati ok? I know you guys were really looking forward to hitting dirt."

 

Darcy starts to pace in a

Darcy starts to pace in a small arc. "Apparently, it happens when he uses his crazy elfin powers." She says the phrase without humor, never having really been comfortable calling it 'magic' when she prefers 'unexplained biological quirk, like spitting blood from your eye.' "And it's not limited to the elfin - anyone who has those kind of powers, using them puts them at risk. We're getting the word out to the fleet, obvs."

She stops pacing when he mentions the active connection back home. She gets excited about the QE device, but when he mentions Anne shot it, she just cusses under her breath. "Dammit. We'll have to do it in-system, and close. Still, thanks - knowing someone's set up to receive will help." Given who will be listening, it's also reason enough to do the encryption she'd been planning.

"Not that I know of. Right now, I think only us lowbies have done the talking. Honey has my report, that'll go up the chain, but hell if I know what they'll do with it. As for us," she shrugs, a hint of a smile coming back to her face, "we plan to kick ass and take names, and get our planet back. But that's kind of a long-term thing..."

 

Jake nodded, "Eh - after the

Jake nodded, "Eh - after the whole - thing -" He sort of nodded vaguely in the direction of the bridge, "And me running around for a few weeks there as bait to get them out... I've been kind of making sure I'm in the loop on that end of things. They wanted my head on a platter - they'll have to come and take it -"

Jake took the datapad again with a frown, reviewing Tarae's picture. "... hell. That doesn't look good. Is it just... an automatic thing? Like we have to keep him in stasis now or something?"

He looked back at his own videos and then at Darcy's datapad, clicking over a few things. "... there's someone keeping the lights on at home. Veral had contact with the mutineer's all the way up through the attack. They were getting orders even -" He paused, realizing that the woman standing in front of him know how radio waves and light speed worked, "Ah - they had a QE, quantum entanglement device for communication. But now... some of that makes more sense. So there's some sort of political structure up and running as of two weeks ago.... but -" Jake grit his teeth in frustration, "Anne shot the damn thing. The only working one we had, and it's not looking like it's repairable, so we can't call ahead to make a reservation."

"Has anyone made any plans for what we're gonna do when we arrive?"

 

"Yeah..." Darcy finishes for

"Yeah..." Darcy finishes for him, queuing up the holoroom vid but keeping it paused for the moment. "I thought so, too: just propaganda, someone playing with virtual video, but I checked the codec and it's all straight feed, no edits."

She rolls her eyes at mention of the mutineers, banging her head against the wall intentionally. "Oh, duh, I'd almost forgotten about them..."

She nods about the Crowned, trying to fight back the tremor in her fingers. "Yeah...that's them. And...it gets worse." Swallowing hard, she passes him her datapad of Tarae going accidental apeshit in the holorooms.

"Apparently," she adds, getting a little ahead of the video, "it's everywhere already. Anybody who can do the shit Jumper does. The doc's on the case, but..." She shrugs, starting to rub one arm again. "Anyway, it doesn't look good."

 

Jake leaned back against the

Jake leaned back against the workbench, taking the data pad from her so she wouldn't have to hold it at arms length for the video. He held the pad in both hands, head bowed as he watched the feed. Breathing slowed, and she watched his pupils dilate as the scene played through. He swallowed and wordlessly handed it back to her. For a man as pale as he was, he was if anything just a little paler.

He nodded, "Active memory I guess. Hard storage is... -" He bit his lip, eyes sliding to the side. A muscle in his jaw jumped erratically as he processed all of this.

"... I... I'd been telling myself for the last few weeks it was nothing. Propaganda bullshit -" He reached for his own pad, pulling up videos of his own. "... this was sent to the mutineers - it convinced them to act when they did..." He shook his head, "I checked down to the pixel level, for tampering and didn't find any but I'd still hoped... hoped it was, y'know - fake. That Veral had set up movie shots or something..."

The videos played through riots, quarantines. "It was all so fucking vague..." He scrubbed a hand back through his hair, "... and now - I..." He stepped away form the workbench to pace, hands sunk back into his hair gripping for a moment. "... at least now we know."

He swallowed, "What's a Crowned - that thing that threw the missile back? The report mentioned an illness but was really vague about it."

 

Darcy sighs when he catches

Darcy sighs when he catches his arm, having known she wasn't likely to just be allowed to dart away after that, leaving him with the vid. Turning to her datapad, she mutters: "It's bad..." quietly, queuing up the video from Conductor and then spinning the pad about so he can watch.

She watches his face while it plays, while the sounds of destruction replay in recompressed form through the tiny speakers, knowing what's on the screen. She doesn't have to watch it again, it's already playing in her mind, and while she keeps a firmer grip on her posture this time, there are already tears in her eyes when it finishes.

"That," she explains, turning the datapad around to queue up the video from the holoroom itself of Tarae's aurora, "is - was - the leader of our guests. The girl made it, he said. She's with them. But, uh...not all of him is here with her. Had to scrap it, leave it behind to make capacity requirements. Memories take up memory, or something like that..."

The tech talk seems to be steadying her, and she'll wait to see what kind of state Jake is in before proceeding with the next video. If he needs a moment like she did, it can wait.

 

Jake quirked an eyebrow

Jake quirked an eyebrow watching her responses. Then a chill hit the back of his brain. He caught her by the elbow. "Wait... there is something wrong at home? Something big?"

It sounded, almost, like he wasn't so much surprised as he should be. "Shit - I'd hoped -" He blurted. Jake shook his head, meeting her eyes. "... just how bad is this? Worse than the Mutaren ambushes?"

 

Coding libraries was one

Coding libraries was one notch higher than anything Darcy had to mess with on a regular basis, but she had enough of a pile of scripts she'd made to get the concept. Having a pile of libraries seemed almost like overkill, but given the size and depth of the system they were talking about, she figured they'd likely need them.

Misreading the glance at her arm, Darcy's brow pinches a bit at the 'huh,' bracing for one of his typical remarks. What pops out, by contrast, catches her a little off-guard. "Huh?"

Naturally, it only takes a moment for her brain to key in on what he's actually on about. She mutters something and glances to the side. "...I'll send you the vid. I can't--" she shuts her eyes tight, trying to fight back her tendency to visualize. "I'll send it to you."

"Our digi-friends?" she adds, turning toward the door, "They were escaping something called the 'Crowned,' which is what's waiting for us when we get back to the planet."

"It's...worse than that, but I--" She shakes her head. "You'll see." She plucks the datapad from her back pocket, sending him the recording from the holorooms. "Like I said: make sure you're sitting down."

 

He grinned, looking over her

He grinned, looking over her spec and adding a few notes of is own. "Well - funny thing is... if we have the initial game engine from another source. I've got a library of common code elements so we can use that for database interactions, forms and sending email notifications and all..." He shrugged, grinning at her, "Basically we've got a good chunk of it pre-written from other sources, we just have to fit the pieces together and code the parts between."

Jake was quiet for a minute (gasp! shock! call the news!) while he jotted down some ideas on how to make the pieces fit together, ending with a 'Need protocol written first' note. He glanced over at her, eyes dropping down to that nervous rub of her arm. "Huh."

The whiteboard was leaned against the workbench to his other side, as he picked up the mug. "Alright you. Out with it. Something's biting your ass and it's neither me nor Aati so let's have it. What's going on?"

 

Darcy seems more acceptant

Darcy seems more acceptant than excited about the notion of iterative upgrades. It's not the work that worries her, it's the likelihood of the need. The simpler UI would totally hold them for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. But, after the vids she'd seen, she had little faith that it'd be resolved in just a few months...

She starts stroking one arm nervously, not seemingly aware of the gesture. "Yeah...shared load, definitely. It's gonna be a hard enough sell to get the hardware, if we can at least make it dynamic, it may make it easier to requisition."

When he hands her the whiteboard, Darcy cracks a smile again, taking both and starting to draw up all the pieces they talked about, along with her numbers borrowed from the holoroom on current space usage so they had a baseline to work from.

"I think we'll have others in it - I don't see you and me cracking this out in the timeframe we need. There are a couple of ringers on the Signals team that I think can help, assuming Elis herself doesn't dive in, but probably best not to count on that until we really get it spun up."

She finishes the initial spec and hands board and marker back to him with a shrug. "I can't think of anything else to add for now, except to have a virtual suggestion box for 'em, so they can tell us what we goofed on or left out."

Another smile, and for once, not a smirk: "Thanks, Jake. There's no way I'd've gotten my head around the hardware and security requirements in time."

 

Jake nodded, "As a

Jake nodded, "As a psychological aid - yeah - sooner the better absolutely. But if you sort of plan for the future, it makes for less revisions when the future comes." He grinned at her, fingers restless around the mug now - itching to get to typing. "... so we start with console player and amp it up from there."

He hopped off the workbench to pace a little, thinking it over. "Probably also want to allow for a multi-server configuration - so the load can be shared across multiple machines. That would make it redundant too for reliability. Possible allow the machines to be multi-use even - if the clients offload a bit of the work for the system, then the server only has to handle the messages between, right?"

"Hang on -" He wandered into a corner of engineering, a workbench he'd pretty much taken over for his own use, and came back with a whiteboard and marker. He set it on the workbench and handed her a marker. "Spec. Cause if it's not written down.... it doesn't exist." He grinned at her, adding a few bullet points of what they'd already covered: Security, console interface, and the like.

"So - what else do we need to account for here?" He glanced over his shoulder at her, "And is this a you and me project or do we have others in on it too?"

 

Darcy considers the evolving

Darcy considers the evolving spec, not sure exactly how high to reach. Presumably, they'd be making the jump home soon, and then a virtual world would be the least of their priorities. "On the good, fast and cheap scale, I think fast and cheap are taking lead right now. I mean, I'd love to give 'em the full immersive feel, but if it's too big a pill to swallow, I'd rather at least give them the sense of a console player."

"We can get one of them to test, I'm sure. I can think of just who to ask..." She nods about security, taking another sip of tea. One of the small tastes of home, it didn't even register to her how much she'd missed it. But then, home is on her mind a lot right now.

"Yeah...my thoughts exactly. I want them to have a little customization and freedom, but that means a degree of scripting access, and that means security holes, and that's...really not my area."

She gets lost in her own planning for a moment, taking a bit longer than usual to register what he said. "...I like it! The sim servers are already built for the sort of sustained memory loads we're talking about. Now we just have to convince someone to let us offload the flight sims for a few weeks..."

Of course, 'a few weeks' could just be the start of it, but Darcy was trying to stay hopeful. At any rate, 'a few weeks' would at least be the lie she'd likely tell Honey to pass up the chain through Elis and on to the commander. Because once they had it set up and people playing, it'd be a hell of a lot harder for them to pull the plug.

 

He curled his fingers around

He curled his fingers around the mug of tea, taking in the mint as he listened to her explanation. It sounded like the holorooms were just too big a burden, but she was right - after all - it wasn't like the digital personalities didn't know what their circumstances were. But they could have a much better interaction than just - text and email. From a psychological point of view - if they were awake and 'stuck' then that - he shivered, not sure exactly how he would expect that to feel. Like sensory deprivation in a solitary cell? Horrible.

"... I'm liking the idea so far..." He drummed fingers on the edge of the cup, "There's plenty of open source game engines we can use as the base. We'd probably have to allow for plug-in modules, to let them manipulate their world and art..."

He wrinkled his nose in thought, "I'm not sure how 'physical' the interaction would feel to them. But that might be worth roping one of them in for - are we trying to replicate the feel of the interface we have? Where we look at a screen and type and move around - or do we want to immerse the AI so they feel it directly and a flesh player is the one at a disadvantage? In terms of interaction at least."

He nodded to her, "We are going to need some air-tight security on this. Both ways. I don't want someone uploading a module that could hurt players, digital ones that is. And vice versa, if someone's lost it because their brain was in cold storage the last thing we need is them hopping boxes and hacking into accounts." The little gleam in his eyes was starting to show - the same 'I have an idea' eagerness most engineers got at the start of a big project. "... I think - maybe let's use Live's game engine as a basis? That way we can expand to a larger platform as the system matures... and allow for cross-platform compatibility."

 

Darcy takes him up on the tea

Darcy takes him up on the tea offer, cradling it and savoring the scent first. "Yeeaah...long story, most of it's still all over the floor of my quarters. Twelve datapads, and I think I've managed to fully salvage five so far..."

She nods about the project - small surprise, he's already got a clue what she's talking about. "Exactly! The doc kept talking about how important it'd be for at least pseudo-social interactions between our digi-friends, but having them all project into the holoroom could get messy fast."

"So, I figured, we give them a mock-up like the old sim games in Live, but with less shooting and piloting and more just, well, having tea and shit." She gestures with the cup to emphasize the point: a real world analog.

"Plus, then, I figure anyone who wants to can log in at a console with their own avatar. Should hopefully be a lot less overhead than a full projection in the holoroom, but serve a similar purpose. They already know they're digital, it's not like it needs to be very true-to-life, but polygons should be better than nothing."

She pauses to sip her tea with a shrug. "I can build the chat protocols and some of the in-game stats so they can move around and interact easily enough, but I need some help securing the whole system and getting the actual framework in place."

"What do you think? Are you up for it?" He wasn't wrong about art, they'd need to source that out, but she figured someone on board would have the talents they needed. If they could provide the backbone, getting someone who knew how to construct the face should glue the whole thing together.

 

Jake squinted at the mention

Jake squinted at the mention of Tarae and the doc catching up. Then shrugged, whatever it was with weird elfin biology, the doc was the most likely to have an idea how to deal with it if Tarae didn't himself. He could only hope whatever it was that passed for an elfin cold wasn't contagious to the rest of them.

Still, something didn't set right - Darcy's tone had shifted, darkened, and he wasn't sure what was behind that. And her warning 'sit down when you watch them' brought to mind the vids he'd been reviewing. The ones from the mutiny, worry set in. Later though, the girl had some sort of request to deal with before they dove into that rabbit hole.

He poured tea, offering her a cup as she settled in. "Yeah, you mentioned they'd been picked up on the Joy Rider - I'm still curious how exactly that went down but when I tried to read the reports, there's a lot that's been redacted in the follow up."

He tucked his ankles under his knees, perching on the workbench after scooting a small pile of wires and tools into a bin for sorting. "... like game worlds? A little bit - I mean some of the work once you get past the storage is fairly straightforward. Art's usually a bitch to source."

He scratched at a itch on the side of his nose, thinking. "Ah - there's some game engines out there that make a good base..." Then shot her a look, eyebrow quirking. "Context question - why? What's the need we're trying to address here?"

 

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